IBM and German city complete smarter traffic pilot

January 23, 2013

IBM and the City of Cologne in Germany have announced the new traffic pilot, which forecasts and manages the city’s traffic flow and congestion, has been completed.

The advanced transportation management software uses analytics technology to show the ways in which the city of Cologne can foresee, manage, and in some cases, avoid traffic jams and trouble spots across the city.

As a part of the pilot, IBM transportation experts and researchers teamed up with the City of Cologne to analyse data from its traffic monitoring stations for a period of six weeks with the help of the IBM Traffic Prediction Tool and IBM Intelligent Transportation solutions.

The city’s traffic engineers and IBM could predict traffic volume and flow with more than 90% accuracy and 30 minutes in advance.

This capability would help travellers to plan ahead, decide whether they should leave at a different time, plan an alternate route or use a different mode of transportation

Cologne Traffic Control Center director Thomas Weil said that the results of the traffic prediction pilot are very encouraging.

“Having the ability to create actionable insight from the traffic monitoring data gives us an ability to better manage congestion, as well as provide citizens with more precise traffic information,” he added.

Cologne, which is considered as one of the first congestion-prone large cities with increasing in traffic density, is looking out for new ways to better manage and optimise traffic flow, as well as increase the capacity of its transportation networks.

The city’s traffic command centre generally collects real-time data from around 150 monitoring stations and 20 traffic cameras on the roads, highways and at intersections.

However, it currently does not possess advanced traffic management tools or a way to predict future traffic flow.

The pilot is expected to help the traffic command centre to optimise the current traffic flow, while anticipating and planning for potential traffic incidents.

According to IBM, intelligent traffic management based on precise forecasting techniques will help cities forecast and avoid traffic congestion and reduce the volume of traffic, resulting in a more sustainable transportation network.


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